About the Artist
Willem Heesen (1925, Utrecht – 2007, Leerdam) was a Dutch glass artist, glass painter and glass designer. He took a course in drawing and watercolour at the Avondschool voor Kunst en Industrieel Onderwijs (Night School of Art and Industrial Education) in Utrecht from 1942 to1943, and studied at the Academie van Beeldende Kunsten (Academy of Fine Arts) in The Hague. From 1943 to 1948, he trained to be a glass designer and glass decorator at the Glasschool Leerdam, where he studied under the celebrated glass artist Andries Copier. In 1948, Willem Heesen was appointed a designer at the Glasfabriek Leerdam (Royal Leerdam).
In 1950, he was nominated for the Good Design Award of the Museum of Modern Art in New York. In 1967, after retirement, of Andries Copier, Heesen became chief designer of the Glasfabriek Leerdam. He applied himself to glassblowing as well. In 1977, he left the Glasfabriek Leerdam and started the glass studio ‘de Oude Horn’, a center for glass artists, in Acquoy (Geldermalsen). From 1977 to 1996, Heesen lived in Acquoy. In 1978, Andries Copier joined the glass artists of Heesen’s studio. Willem Heesen always refers in his works to nature, especially to the nature and water life of the river the Linge. His son Bernard Heesen (1958, Leerdam) continued his father’s glass studio.